“The Patriot” takes place during the Revolutionary War. It’s 1776 and intense fighting is going on in the north, while in the south the people are scrambling to recruit anyone who was willing to fight against the British. The main character, Benjamin Martin, is a veteran of the French and Indian war who wants independence from Britain, but is not willing to risk the safety of his already motherless children by going to war. His son Gabriel however, has a different view of the war, and enlists in the Continental Army without the consent of his father.
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Soon Benjamin is forced into action whether he wanted to be or not. When helping out hurt and wounded soldiers from both sides at his home he is viewed as a traitor, and Gabriel is ordered to be hanged. Benjamin’s son Thomas tries to help Gabriel, but is shot and killed by the brutal and nasty Colonel William Tavington, who also orders the Martin’s house to be burned to the ground. This understandably pushes Benjamin over the edge. He and his two younger sons then by themselves gun down over 20 redcoats and rescue Gabriel.
Benjamin’s quick shooting and stealthful movements earn him the nickname of “The Ghost. ” He then leaves his children with their aunt Charlotte, and forms a small militia group full of locals to help in the fight against the British and for personal revenge. Martin’s militia accounts for many redcoat deaths and cause a lot of trouble for the British. Col. Tavington however, results to his brutal tactics against the families and loved ones of the soldiers in Martin’s militia.
Tavington is responsible for the deaths of Gabriel’s, wife, most of the citizens of their SC town, and later Gabriel himself as well. Martin’s army however overcomes much adversity, and plays a large part in the Continental effort. They later join up with the main Continental Army, and along with the long awaited arrival of the French, force Cornwallis and the British to surrender at Yorktown. Benjamin also gets his revenge by killing Tavington in the battle. This spells victory for the Americans and personal victory for Benjamin Martin.
After the white flag is raised Martin returns to his family to rebuild his house and his life. As a result of the harsh treatment and strict regulations put on the colonists by the British such as the Boston Massacre, the Tea Act, Stamp Act, and other taxes, the colonists were ready for a change. They are tired of being controlled by a government on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, and are ready to start fighting for their freedom. The colonists form many rebellious groups such as the Sons of Liberty, to protest and rebel against the British involvement in their country.
They hold meetings and help carry out acts against the British such as the Boston Tea Party. When the British don’t change their ways it is time for war. The fighting starts at Lexington and Concord in the spring of 1775 with the first shots being fired. People all over wanted to help in the war effort by joining the army and forming small militia groups to fight the British. Benjamin Martin’s army was one of these groups. The British won many battles but the colonists stayed strong.
The colonists were fighting for something they truly believed in, and this gave them an advantage and a reason to stay motivated. “The Patriot” shows the adversity that they had to fight through to gain freedom, but victories for the colonists like Saratoga kept them confident. All of the struggle paid off when the Continental Army, the militia, and the French all join forces to corner the British at Yorktown and force them to surrender. America had won the war and their freedom which became official with the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the Declaration of Independence.
At the end of “The Patriot” when they are rebuilding the house it symbolizes what the Americans had to do, and that was rebuild and form the nation that would become the United States of America. Hollywood presented “The Patriot,” and the event of the Revolutionary War in a bit of an exaggerated way. In the movie the British were looked at as brutal, heartless killers, which is an exaggeration of the way that the British really were. Also, Mel Gibson’s character, Benjamin Martin, was based on Gen.
Francis Marion(AKA: “The Swamp Fox”), who was very different in real life than the way he was portrayed in the movie. Marion was in actuality a serial rapist, a racist, and he also hunted Native Americans for fun. Benjamin Martin treated everyone respectfully, and was looked at by his peers as being a noble and honorable person. The events that took place, such as the marriages, killings of civilians, and the actual involvement of the certain militia showcased in this movie are not backed up by historical facts.
The movie also ignored that many Americans fought on the side of the British crown. The movie made it seem like it was all of the Americans against all of the British, and it was uncommon to see an American fighting for the British. Hollywood definitely didn’t just go by what it says in history books, they told their own story. I don’t think Hollywood did a great job of providing historical information and facts through “The Patriot,” but they made it interesting. They stretched and exaggerated things like the British brutality, and didn’t base many of the events on factual information.
I liked the coverage of the event because it focused on one family, and how it directly affected the people, and not just the country as a whole. By seeing this it gave us a look at what it might have been like if we lived during the war. I also disliked some things in the movie. I didn’t like how they put the British in a bad light regarding their involvement in the killing of innocent civilians. The brutal acts that were carried out in the movie by the redcoats could not be proven true.
The movie also could have included information about other militia groups and the Continental Army as a whole. I also think that this movie was very one-sided. It was definitely pro-American, and against the British. This makes sense because it is an American movie, but I think it serves an injustice to some of the innocent British soldiers. Mainly Hollywood didn’t really care much about the historical accuracy, but they wanted to make an exciting movie that would sell tickets, and they did that in “The Patriot. “